Using netlify for a microsite platform?

Good day everyone.

I’ve been using netlify for one of my personal projects and was extremely pleased by the experience. I’m a huge proponent of making things simple and JAMStack was on my radar because of that for a while, netlify in my mind supercharged the concept.

I also maintain a platform to build microsites for Amazon Sellers - https://ashop.co . It was heavily inspired my JAMStack, so much that I initially attempted to build headless platform. But while looking for a product market fit I ended up turning my view towards microsites…

Currently, it’s a rails monolith, but it was designed in way – that all microsites are essentially static sites that use API’s that platform provides. The problem is – that I’m a single person maintaining this project, with a huge backlog of features that my clients need.

So, I’m quite limited with my resources – and can’t really dedicate so much time into building all the pipeline required to turning microsites into JAMStack… yeat… it seems that netlify seems to have everything I need:

  • I need to survive Black Friday, without breaking a sweat or waking up at nights to deal with outrage.
  • Have a build in support for custom domains (with Let’s Encrypt support only)
  • Have ability to use my subdomain *.ashop.co with a microsite
  • Be able to easily re-deploy without any downtime every hour or two
  • Have an ability to manage static sites programmatically (through API) – create sites, changed configuration, re-deploy
  • Have an easy way to distribute microsite across different regions (not only US, but europe and asia)

Netlify seems to have all that and even more.

More I think about this idea, less crazy it sounds… yeat, my mind can’t stop wondering about some possible issues I may encounter. I’d appreciate if anyone can give their input. Namely:

  • aShop currently operates at very small profit margin (I plan to introduce premium features to solve that, but so far…). And I have time issue calculating how much it could cost me to maintain…
    So far I didn’t pay a cent to netlify for running fbacatalog project. Pricing is based of my usage of lambda/forms… Would that change If I migrate all websites to netlify? is there some sort of traffic limit that those can hit and I have to start paying? Is there any limit/cap on amount of sites I can have on netlify? With my current feature set for every microsite – basically all site will qualify to be free. Yeat, I feel that it’s not a mutually beneficial partnership for netlify…

  • I’m considering applying for accelerator with this project, a lot of those offer free AWS credits. Would it be possible to switch from Netlify CDN to AWS s3?

  • I’m still not sure if I should operate all microsites that my platform houses through my own account on netlify or offer my clients to use netlify on their own? My clients technically are not that ‘advanced’ and I’m not sure if I can guarantee ease of setup and flawless experience if clients would have to use their own netlify accounts.

  • Maybe someone else has experience of using netlify platform in a similar way and can share some gotchas/positives that they encountered?

Thanks for reading

After spending couple of days with a broken build, with zero support and basically digging through entire netlify stack to figure out what is wrong…

I consider my idea of moving to netlify a reckless one.

Support that doesn’t answer for two days is not friend of a business.

Hey @skatkov! Bummer to hear that you feel like you’re having a bad experience with support. Here’s my take on things.

As far as the above ^ post goes, this is a completely separate issue than the concern you wrote into the helpdesk about, correct? I checked the ticket that we have for your in our support system and it looks like we acknowledged your problem, and sent you a response with some action items within 7 Business hours (ours are 6am-5pm US/Pacific time) of receiving it. (If you didn’t receive that response, or submitted a ticket we are not aware of for some reason, please let us know!!)

Of course we would love to be able to resolve build issues as quickly as possible as they come up - yours included. But we are bound to the constraints of running a business geared towards financial viability in the long term, so that Netlify isn’t just a flash in the pan. Resultingly, everyone with a paid Netlify team, instead of using it for free gets premium support, which means we try very hard to respond in less than 2 business days. (In this case, we overshot that margin by 41 hours, so we feel pretty good about that actually). We acknowledge this time window in all of our communications when customers submit a support ticket, if you check back on our responses, you should see that outlined.

We’re excited to keep working on improving our support processes - if you have actionable, specific feedback for us OR as I said, we missed something, we can hear that critique, as we work hard to deliver the best support we can :muscle:

1 Like

Regarding the build and deploy issues, those appear to be resolved now. So, I’ll go back to the beginning of this topic and reply to your original post.

First, we’re also big believers in the JAMStack design philosophy and we’re glad to hear you are a proponent as well.

There is a lot to cover as it is a very detailed post. So, I have inlined the key questions you had below:

So far I didn’t pay a cent to netlify for running fbacatalog project. Pricing is based of my usage of lambda/forms… Would that change If I migrate all websites to netlify?

Pricing is based on several factors:

  • the number of users for the Netlify team
  • the bandwidth used for all sites owned by the team
  • any payed/metered addons used by the site (Functions, Identity, Large Media transformations)

All of the pricing details can be found here: https://www.netlify.com/pricing/

is there some sort of traffic limit that those can hit and I have to start paying?

The traffic limit is 100 GB for all sites on the team per month. After that the charge is $20 per 100 GBs.

Is there any limit/cap on amount of sites I can have on netlify?

There is no limit on the number of sites you can have with Netlify.

With my current feature set for every microsite – basically all site will qualify to be free. Yeat, I feel that it’s not a mutually beneficial partnership for netlify…

Maybe you would qualify to be a reseller of Netlify. Would you like to speak with our sales team about this possibililty?

I’m considering applying for accelerator with this project, a lot of those offer free AWS credits. Would it be possible to switch from Netlify CDN to AWS s3?

Here I’m not sure what you mean. If you own the domain names, you are free to move them to another service. If you are talking about how to move a Netlify site to AWS S3, that should be possible but we don’t have recommendations about how best to do so. There is nothing “automatic” at Netlify which does for you, but it should be possible.

I’m still not sure if I should operate all microsites that my platform houses through my own account on netlify or offer my clients to use netlify on their own? My clients technically are not that ‘advanced’ and I’m not sure if I can guarantee ease of setup and flawless experience if clients would have to use their own netlify accounts.

This again sounds like you might want to consider becoming a reseller. Our Terms of Service say the following:

“Except where intended as via the API and CLI, and services such as integrations and search engines, users may not access the Service through automated methods. Use of robots or other computer code which calls the Service, except where explicitly allowed, is absolutely forbidden.”

So if you are creating Netlify teams for other users programmatically, this may be deemed a violation of the TOS. Obviously if you are a reseller of our services, this programmatic creation of new Netlify teams might be permitted as this would be an official integration.

Maybe someone else has experience of using netlify platform in a similar way and can share some gotchas/positives that they encountered?

I hope the answers above are helpful.

Finally, I want to mention the our Scope of Support. If you have questions about using Netlify this we can assist with this. But we are not able to troubleshoot issues relating to any site code or the code written for the integration (unless you are an official partner/reseller and/or you are a paid customer with a contract which includes this level of support).

As always, if there are other questions, please reply and we’ll do our best to answer.

1 Like